Wine Reviews

Browse collection of wine reviews.


Bacchant Wines Luli Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Well, now, this is fun! A partnership between Master Sommelier Sara Floyd and the Pisoni winemaking family of Santa Lucia Highlands, Luli wines marries a sense of friendliness with serious quality. Their Chardonnay is sourced from 20 year old vines grown on limestone soils, bringing a sense of elegant balance to balance this white's assertive, ripe tropical fruitiness.

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Claiborne & Churchill Edna Valley Dry Riesling

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Seemingly, there are almost no grape varieties that cannot do well in California's Edna Valley, as Claiborne & Churchill's lovely Edna Valley Dry Riesling demonstrates. This pale gold delight has spicy, fruity aromas of ginger, blossom, and citrus, paired with flavors of quince and pears, all delivered on a backbone of perky acidity. It's a Riesling that doesn't hold back, while still holding on to its elegance.

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Luna Vineyards Sangiovese, Napa Valley

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Sangiovese was once deemed the Next Big Thing in Napa Valley, a prognostication that more or less died on the vine after that early 2000s. Some Napa producers never gave up on the Sangiovese dream - thankfully, one of them was Luna. They've been producing Sangiovese grown on shallow, rocky soils for 25 years, and their experience has created a red that embodies Napa's legendary ripeness (enhancing the grape's depth of cherry flavors) with Sangiovese's legendary zesty acidity.

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Valdo 'Cuvee 1926' Extra Dry, Prosecco di Valdobbiadene

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Valdo is the oldest Prosecco winery in Valdobbiadene, having been founded in 1926. Their Prosecco game is on-point, as this elegant, fun, expressive bubbly shows. Made from a blend of Glera and Chardonnay, there are flavors and aromas of apples, pear, white peach and banana, all accented by white flower notes and a crowd-pleasing, energetic mouthfeel.

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Bollini Pinot Grigio, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Never count Pinot Grigio out when it hails from its spiritual home in northeastern Italy. Diurnal temperature shifts help Bollini's hand-picked Pinot Grigio grapes retain buoyant natural acidity while also keeping ripe fruit flavors. With aromas of acacia flowers, minerals and white pear, and zesty palate with melon and lemon flavors, this is a crowd-pleaser that showcases why this region does this grape so well.

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Loveblock Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Here's a sustainably-grown, vegan-friendly Pinot option that will make you feel just as good about buying it as you will drinking it. Sourced from Loveblock's family estate on Bendigo Loop Road in Central Otago, this red shows just how far New Zealand Pinot Noir has come. It's full of fleshy, juicy black plum flavors, ripe black cherry aromas, and alluring hints of earth, mushroom, meat and cigar.

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Bodegas Santo Cristo Garnacha Seleccion, Campo de Borja, Spain

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Bargain hunters take note: Spain's Campo de Borja, located between Rioja and Catalonia, is offering up some excellent value for money these days. This Garnacha from Santo Cristo (a co-op with history dating back to the mid-1950s) is a great example of what the region can provide those who are looking for bang for their bucks. It's made from old vine Grenache grown on a cool upland plateau, creating a red that's juicy, bold, and powerful in the mouth, but playful and energetic on the nose with deep red berry fruit and peppery spice aromas.

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Wrath Wines KW Ranch Syrah, Santa Lucia Highlands

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

The news of the death of Syrah has been greatly exaggerated. In fact, there's arguably never been a better time to for Syrah lovers, with many artisanal expressions of the grape available for reasonable prices. The fruit for this lively Syrah from Wrath is hand harvested at a 20-year-old vineyard a mere six miles from the winery. It's a bold red that still keeps its vibrancy, with seductive notes of black pepper, meat, ripe blackberries, cassis and leather.

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Veramonte Primus Carmenere, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Chile's adopted red grape, Carmenere, is now found in all shapes/sizes/price-points, from budget picks to top-end, expensive reds. Veramonte's Primus Carmenere falls somewhere nicely in-between, over-delivering on its cost in the way that many South American wines did when they first started to storm the market almost three decades ago. Substantial black plum flavors mingle with notes of pepper, herbs, and smoked meat to offer a red that may pleasantly surprise you with its sense of depth and concentration.

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Acquiesce Clairette Blanche, Lodi

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

California's Lodi is most famous for old vine Zinfandel, but the region does many things well (and it grows over 100 different wine grape varieties, red and white). Acquiesce's Clairette Blanche white shows off some of Lodi's vinous diversity. While certainly ripe and full of stone fruit flavors and aromas, it balances a sense of mouth-filling weight with refreshing acidity and pretty notes of white flowers.

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